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Thousands Flee Villages in English-Speaking Parts of Cameroon for Fear of Military Attack

CAMEROON — Thousands of people are fleeing villages in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon less than a week after President Paul Biya declared war against anglophone separatist groups.

Fleeing villagers complain troops are engaging in rape, killings, and harassment, but the military says they are out to defend the population.

The number of people traveling along the Kumba Mamfe Road in the English-speaking southwest region of Cameroon has drastically dropped. It is along this road that goods from Nigeria are brought into Cameroon and vice versa.

Thirty-two-year-old merchant Takem Ethel said she and her peers suspended business trips between Cameroon and Nigeria after President Biya declared war on separatist groups.

“The number of checkpoints are just unbearable,” said Ethel. “Since the president announced that he was fighting against terrorists, it is as if he removed his hungry lions called the military from their den. Those who want to be killed can travel. I still have my life ahead, so I will not move.”

 

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